adding a "grandchildren" room on my house

steelskiesOctober 16, 2013

I have a real problem in that my husband is a hoarder and my house is such a mess and in addition my lr rug is almost thread bare in some places. Anyway, I want to add on a 15x20 room that I can claim as my own, AND for my grandchildren where everything is clean and in its place. Once those grandkids start crawling and walking, they couldn't possibly be in my dirty house.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated about what to put in it, how to decorate, and things I need to know about putting up a room for this purpose. Also, we NEVER invite anyone into our house (because of this "hoarding-house" I live in), but I'm hoping I can actually invite people into our house once I have this new room.

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You need to deal with the problem at hand (your husband) as what will stop him from loading up the new room with crap?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 9:45AM
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I'm sure this is not what you want hear. Hoarding to that degree is a mental illness and you both need professional help. You are an enabler.

Adding one room to the house will not solve your problem. What about the kitchen or the bathroom? You can't keep all guests in just one room. Also you know that eventually things will start to creep into that room.

I know a family that moved out when their house was so filled with junk they could no longer live there. They moved into an empty house and over a period of years cleaned out the first house. Well as you can imagine now the new house is filled to capacity. It is now dangerous to live there.

The best thing you can do for your grandchildren, your children, yourself, and your husband is to get professional help. My best friends parents are hoarders and I have seen this first hand. The pain it causes family members is more than you can imagine.

This post was edited by debrak2008 on Thu, Oct 17, 13 at 9:48

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 9:46AM
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Are you planning on a deadbolt and a padlock to keep your husband out of the new room? How will you ensure that this new space doesn't become what the old space already is without keeping him out of it? What about bathroom access? Wouldn't you also want to add a bathroom to the mix for sanitation's sake?

400 square feet with a bathroom would be anywhere from 20K-100K depending on details of tying it in with the old space, ease of electrical, plumbing, HVAC, exterior cladding, and location. How do you plan to finance this construction?

Perhaps your state offers some free counseling services for your family to address this issue. The major issue won't go away without some work. , Spending money to get around that and excluding your husband from the result will only lead to resentment and more family strife, not less. You've got a hard road in dealing with this, and getting some help for everyone could benefit everyone more than doing a construction project.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 9:53AM
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Find a good professional organizer and talk your husband into allowing you to clear one or two rooms with the organizer. Renting a storage space will be much cheaper than adding on to your house, and perhaps if he sees that you never need anything in the storage space. he will be willing to get rid of the items stored. I think you both will enjoy the cleared spaces so much that he might allow you to continue,

I do this regularly and it is the best money I spend all year. The organizers are really good at assessing functionality of storage and making it easy for you to live and clean up.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 1:16PM
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sorry to hear that you have a loved one with
hoarding issues.
I hope you can help him to resolve the issues
& reclaim your home.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 7:38PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I'm so sorry for your family. I'm kind of a closet hoarder, so I sympathize with both you and your husband. I like my stuff organized, and in closets or cabinets, but basically, I like my stuff.

My sister's husband is a hoarder. They live in a 3-level house (finished basement, first floor, second floor), and when they moved in, the deal was that he could keep his possessions in the basement level (garage, 2BR, 1/2bath). The first floor was to be kept neat and clear, and my sister's office and get-away space was the much smaller 2nd floor. Her husband is not allowed on the 2nd floor. His hoard has slowly crept up the stairs, filled the hallway, the master bedroom, and much of the living areas. The stairs between the basement and first floor are packed solid and unusable--if one wants to access the basement, the exterior entrance is the only option. My sister was a minimalist until she married him, and I know it must be difficult for her to deal with the mess. Ironically, he has a master's in counseling, and she is completing her doctorate in the same field.

So, I understand your yearning for a space that will be welcoming and safe for your grandchildren, and a haven for you. We have a large extended family, a small home, and we host most of the family gatherings. I became weary of rearranging furniture to accommodate tables in the LR for family dinners, so after our grandchildren came along, we added a multi-purpose room, 12x24, that can be used as a dining room with folding tables and chairs, and is used as a playroom on a daily basis. After the framing, it was mostly DIY on a small budget. With a weekend's work and a few hundred dollars, the room can be converted to a small bedroom, with a sitting room/kitchenette, if an elderly parent needs temporary care. I'll include a link to my album, and you can find some of my threads in the smaller homes forum.

I agree that your family needs help, but in the meantime, you can make plans and dream. :)

Edited for clarity.

Here is a link that might be useful: playroom

This post was edited by mama_goose on Sun, Oct 20, 13 at 11:33

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 10:09AM
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You've gotten good advice here. Please consider it carefully. You can't solve this problem by adding a room. You couldn't solve it if you added a warehouse. Look at yourself. You can't even invite friends to visit. There's no shame in asking for help. Your husband needs it, and you need it. Good luck to you.


    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 7:59PM
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I think your best option is to offer to watch the grandchildren at their house. As you say, your house is unsafe. That won't change with a 15x20 addition (and a 15x20 addition is expensive to impossible depending on your municipality and lot size).

Sorry, as I am fairly certain that isn't what you wanted to hear.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 7:38PM
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I have to say, a grandchild room is just fun!

I have had one for 14+ years (not as big as the one you are doing). It has been decorated in many ways over the 14 years. We have a shelf that goes around the room about two feet from the ceiling which has been fun through the ages. 1st we put trucks, trains, planes, and tractors on the shelves that we got down for play when the grandson was over. We decorated with colorful inexpensive shelving and bedding. It was so fun hanging posters of whatever was their favorite stuff at the time - Winie the Pooh, then Action Heros,etc. Framed posters were easy and inexpensive to change out as they (the grands) changed.

Then came along a granddaughter - different family so not always there at the same time - we changed the room to gender neutral. Beach theme was their vote. That too was fun.

I would decorate inexpensive so it can be changed grow with the grands - table and chairs, a wall painted with chalk board paint, etc.

They all love organized storage so a toy box, cubicles with baskets, etc.

Have uncluttered fun! Grands are the most precious gift in life.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 8:12PM
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